Skagway, Alaska Means Wearing Extra Tuff Boots As
Your Main Footwear
by Roger Freed
Skagway, Alaska means-
Having to buy
used boots that are too big at the only thrift
store in town after your old ones rot from all
the rain and no place in town sells new shoes.
and milk that are already a week old because all
the food comes up on a barge from Seattle. And it
only comes once a week.
choice to go by either boat or plane to Juneau to
get something cheaper or drive 110 miles into
Canada to the only big grocery stores in the area.
The only only
health facility is a clinic staffed by three
nurses except on Wednesdays when a doctor flies
into town for the day.
veterinarian come to town only twice a year.
all the great new movies on television but not
being able to see them for a couple years until
they come on television (no movie theater).
Having to go
out in the middle of a non-cloudy day in winter
to get a small window of the 5 hours of daylight
that manage to peak over the mountains
Being able to
ride a bike everywhere in town- it is only four
blocks wide and twenty some long.
town go from 1,500 people in the summer to less
than 800 in the winter because of the drop in
kindergarten through senior high school classes
in one school- and having only one student in the
Going up 3,300
feet in elevation over the border to Canada to
get out from under the oft overcast skies.
-Tuff boots as your main footwear.
full cruise ship come into dock and thereby
tripling the size of the town. (Imagine what it
is like when all four cruse ships are in town!)
choice to catch a flight to the nearest town
south that takes 10 minutes or catch a fast ferry
that takes an hour or drive around the mountains
separating you that takes FIVE HOURS!!!
Living in a
town whose Indian name means 'Birthplace of the
North Wind' and finding out that it is so windy
that even those Indians wouldn't live here.
Living in a
state that is famous for fish for much because so
much glacial silt comes down the river that it
scares them away.
Being in a
town that exists because of the gold rush and now
survives mostly on the tourism because of that
Having no stop
light, one supermarket, one school, no movie
theater, and only one road out- but you have one
of the only two railroads in Alaska!
airport with no control tower so that an incoming
plane must circle until the plane on the landing
strip moves off. Also, radar doesn't work in the
mountains on either side of Skagway so that all
planes must rely on vision for landing, which in
winter means that you have a 6 ½ window of
daylight to land in.
most famous town father be a professional con
artist and gang leader who was shot dead in the
first year of the towns existence.